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Boring In On Kansas

October 11, 1987

So Dennis McDougal found Kansas a bit boring, eh ("Toto, I Don't Think We're in Hollywood Anymore," Oct. 4)?

I understand. Who wants to hear talk shows on cattle or marijuana control when back in 'quake-land he can listen to important topics explored, like restaurants and diets.

McDougal did seem put off that the creators of the film "Kansas," none of whom had ever set foot in the place, would load their movie with outdated images of overalls and banks with cages. Yet he thought nothing of liberally quoting anyone he could find who spoke chicken-fried English.

Funny, I just spent months in Kansas directing a 4-hour CBS miniseries and I can count the number of those Li'l Abner linguists I met on one hand. Is it possible McDougal approached Kansas with his own set of antiquated images?

Certainly his portrait is belied by the many contemporary, progressive people throughout the state. Which leads me to the biggest McDougal muff of all: "(Kansas) is no place to conduct show biz on a long-term basis." Au contraire .

With a thriving Film Commission, a swelling list of recent big-league credits and financing underway for a full-service studio, Kansas rapidly is becoming a major production center in the Midwest.

Ask "Kansas" producer George Litto. He may have had trouble persuading a local lass to shed her clothes for his movie (and he calls himself a Hollywood producer?), but for $200 he bought the right to convert an entire store to a bank set. At those prices, he may start to feel quite at home on the range.


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